Mike Grier makes history

Mike Grier writes a page of history


Mike Grier on Tuesday became the first black man to land a general manager job in the history of the National Hockey League (NHL) when he was hired by the San Jose Sharks. 

The 47-year-old replaces Mike Will, who got the job as interim CEO last November after Doug Wilson resigned. The latter had been in office since May 2003. 

The California team has not made the playoffs in the last three campaigns. In 2021-22, she finished the regular season ranked sixth in the Pacific Division with a 32-37-13 record.

“The San Jose Sharks are a successful organization in the past and I look forward to the challenge of bringing this team back to the path to victory,” Grier said during his introductory press briefing.

“To all Sharks fans, I want you to know that my team and I will do everything we can to build a training you will be proud of.”

Several experiences

After a career of 1,060 NHL games as a forward, Grier worked as a scout with the Chicago Blackhawks (2014-2018), assistant coach with the New Jersey Devils (2018-2020) and most recently hockey operations advisor with the New York Rangers. Sharks president Jonathan Becher has also revealed that Blueshirts GM Chris Drury has strongly sold Grier's qualities.

As a player, the Detroit native has worn the uniform of the Edmonton Oilers, Washington Capitals, Buffalo Sabers and Sharks. He had 162 goals and 221 assists for 383 points in 1,060 NHL games.

He spent three seasons with the Sharks organization, between 2006 and 2009.

< p>A family of leaders

Grier is also not the first member of his family to obtain a general manager position within a North American sports organization. Indeed, his older brother Chris has been the general manager of the Miami Dolphins, in the NFL, since 2016. His father, Bobby Grier, worked for a long time as a coach and member of the staff of several teams in the Goodell circuit.

“I would like to thank my father Bobby and my brother Chris. Your love, your support and your advice have greatly helped me during this process, stressed the new GM of the Sharks. I learned so much from both of you, not just on a sporting level, but mainly on how to treat people with respect. You've been grooming me for this job since I was about 10 years old.”

Grier will have his work cut out for him in the coming days. He will first travel to Montreal for the 2022 draft on Thursday and Friday. Next week, Grier will be busy with the opening of the free agent market. He must also find a new group of coaches, since his organization showed the way out to pilot Bob Boughner and his team a few days ago.